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Maintenance tech tip

Managing your facility's

PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers.)

1) Before forcing a 'real world' input or output (I/O), be sure you have a complete understanding of every way the  I/O will affect the program and machine operation.

2) Always zip your PLC ladder logic programs up before placing them on a floppy disk or emailing them.

3) Copies of all PLC programs with descriptors should be obtained from all OEMs and stored on site.

4) The descriptored programs should be used to update copies of programs currently running in the machines every 6 months. (You may want to add a couple machines per month to the existing PM program.)

5) Insure your maintenance staff has a laptop with the PLC software loaded on it as well as training on how to use it.

6) When personnel are going online with PLCs in the facility, it is recommended they use an external mouse with the lap top. This will further insure unintentional clicks do not occur with laptop's built in mouse while online with PLCs.

7) I also recommend a spreadsheet be made for management of facility PLC programs (Ask me to send you an example copy).

8) You also might consider installing an EEPROM (back up memory chip) on those PLCs which do not already have one.

9) I would encourage maintenance and engineering to use PLC for new equipment design instead of relay panels. This will save on design cost, implementation, troubleshooting and future modifications of equipment as well as increase reliability.

10) Most customized onsite training for your employees qualifies for your state's reimbursement programs. If so, paying pennies on the dollar for your maintenance staff's PLC training can offer an even greater return on your training investment.

Regards,

Don F.

Please see our PLC Training Services

 

Reader Feedback
Subject: kind words

Thanks for this platform for maintenance engineers to share ideas. I really aspire to be like the featured author.

Edward G.


Featured Articles :

OEE Reports - Automated Capturing & Recording of Availability Data - by Bob Giese


The World Wide Web:

Other Online PLC resources:

Articles:

When Controls Converge: CNC,PLC & PC

Documenting PLC Software

Programmable controllers: Revolution or evolution?

Recommends ...

Although myself and our companies are in no way affiliated with Allen Bradley, their PLCs would be my first recommendation. They may be a bit pricey, but well worth the quality and functionality they provide. When your equipment has Allen Bradley controllers, your facility is built on a rock of reliability.

PLCDirect by Koyo offers programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for factory automation in four product families, PC-based control software, along with operator interfaces, programming software, factory network devices, manuals and accessories. This company made the TI 405,305, GE Series 1, Semantic, Siemens, and licensed those companies to put their name on it. Buy direct, and save!

OEMs:

Note: we are not recommending the following vendors, only providing a link as a resource  if you already have their equipment in your facility.

Fuji PLCs - Eaton Cutler-Hammer PLC - Modicon - Omron - Siemens

 


 

World Industry News:


ARCwire for the Week Ending March 12,2004, reaching over 60,000 professionals worldwide.


Archives ...

Up
Vol-14, Lubrication Engineer
Vol 13 - Power Management
Vol-12, Change Management
Vol 10 -Electrical Troubleshooting
Vol-9, PLC Training
Vol-8, Six Sigma
Vol-7, Safety and Reliability
Vol-6 Reliability
Vol-5 Criticality
Vol-4, Human Resources
Vol-3, PLC Programs
Vol-2, managing people
Vol- 1, maintenance advice

Click Newsletter to return to current news letter.

 

March 2004:

Welcome: 

Please select "subscribe to newsletter" on our contact form.

RE: PLC Training

Welcome to the March issue of our Feed Forward Newsletter! My name is Don Fitchett, the author of "The Maintenance War Newsletter". This first area of the newsletter is for introductions and commentary. We have added so much to the website, it all can not be covered in the newsletter. So please browse around and find your gold nugget. 

If a friend has given you this copy of the newsletter, you can find an online version on our website www.feedforward.com.au Every month we add new book titles for you to download, free articles and other resources.

In the Management section and in the Tech Tips section you will see advice about PLCs. (Programmable Logic Controllers). There is no doubt, some will want to ask..."Why?". I encourage you to please send me an email and ask why. I will answer every one and some may make it into next months newsletter.

Well, Mike Sondalini comes through for us again with another new eBook release. 

Helical Rotor Pump - Progressive Cavity Pump Guide by Mike Sondalini

If your facility production involves pumping or dosing food, beer or chemicals, you probably need the knowledge Mike shares with us in his new book. Not only are these type of pumps used as chemical pumps or food pumps, but for slurry and applications that need suction too. So even the farmers out there could put Mike's tips and tricks to use on their dam pumps. ( No play on words intended. :>)

We have had many requests over the years for a PLC Training CD that individuals could use for self education as well as companies, corporations, and learning institutions. I am happy to announce we now have the best PLC Training CD set available for you. (The 'PLCTrainer' is a CBT, which saves students scores and prints certificate upon completion. Printable PLC manual/work book on CD too.)

Of course with me being a PLC trainer, I spent months until I found a product that would exceed my own standards. Then I had to negotiate a great deal for our customers. I strongly recommend you visit our page titled PLC Training and Simulation - 2 CD Set. The PLC training set we put together is priced (limited time offer) for the individual and great for those who want operational knowledge as well as programming experience.

 


Want more detailed PLC and SCADA training? Please see ...

On-Line SCADA and PLC Course recognized by Engineers Australia for CPD purposes!

Also please see "PLC Programming Training 10 Video Set", "PLC Trainer (equipment)" and the "PLC Training CBT".


I have noticed interest in safety related topics. I have also noticed book sales have dropped off a bit. This concerns me, so we will maintain the reduced price of our titles...  The CMMS Insider's Guide ebook, Process Hazards Analysis and Process Safety Audit Protocols ebook

 Hopefully this will spark an interest in safety for a few visitors.


Management Help:

Don't let your automation bring your facility to it's knees!

If you have read any of my material over the years, you have no doubt ran into my example of how a plant air compressor is often overlooked as a bottle neck. (Actually they should have higher priority than bottlenecks do.) 

Another piece of equipment that should have higher importance than bottlenecks when it comes to maintenance and costs is the PLC. (Programmable Logic Controller) If not properly managed, they can stop production of an entire line or facility.

In our 'Maintenance Tech Tip' area there are several tips and advice for managing the ever growing population of PLC technology in your facility. The two most important pieces of advice, I would like to reiterate here.

First, be aware of how many, what brand and support you have for the PLCs in your facility. If you want an example of what kind of facility assessment you should be doing, I have an excel spread sheet you can use as an example. Just use our contact form and request it, I'll be happy to send you a copy.

Secondly, be sure your maintenance and engineering departments have the tools they need to work with the PLCs in your facility and reduce downtime. The tools needed are training,  a laptop with PLC software to access the PLCs, and discriptored copies of every PLC program running in your facility.

If the above measures are not taken, someday production will be down, waiting on a service tech to schedule a visit to your facility. But worse is the countless hours of un-necessary downtime you have already experienced and may not have realized.  The PLC is being utilized as a valuable troubleshooting tool more and more as technology increases.


Human Resource:

Human Resource Effectiveness

 The most evident indicator of human resource effectiveness is not seeing individuals with idle time, waiting on work. There is another aspect of utilizing your human resources effectively that is much more difficult to analyze and improve. That is your work force efficiency. 

The efficiency at which each individual in your company does their respective job can be greatly improved by two basic metrics. Steps to complete a task and timing. You can brainstorm and come up with the minimum steps to complete a task but still be held up by timing, waiting for an external task to be completed before moving on to the next step in the original task.

While it was out of the scope of Bob Giese's article - OEE Reports - Automated Capturing & Recording of Availability Data, I feel the VersaCall automated system deserves mention of how it also improves human resource effectiveness. Their system pages, emails, or communicates in some other form anytime a task is not completed in time to keep production running.

The VersaCall system is a way of virtually automating the human aspects of running your facility, thus reducing or eliminating any timing issues that would cause idle, non-effective time. An example would be a machine becoming low on raw material. The VersaCall system would page the forklift operator. If for some reason the forklift operator could not deliver in time (some preset alarm level set), a supervisor may receive a text message on their cell phone.

With scenarios like the one above, all automated, you not only result in a smoother running facility, but get OEE reports that help you identify where and how to improve your operating effectiveness. 


A Good Laugh!

You might be an engineering redneck if ...

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you have more than two electronic devices that you carry on your person.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you have a key to the company to come into work when no one else is there.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you have used coat hangers and duct tape for something other than hanging coats and taping ducts

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you use a PLC to control your Christmas lights.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you have power cord (pig tails) in your desk.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you can say PCMCIA quickly three time in row with out giving it a second thought.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you have a pocket screw driver in your shirt pocket right now.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you have more friends on the Internet than in real life.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... your watch plugs into your computer.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... if you use CAD for non work-related projects.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... If you know the direction the water swirls when you flush.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you read all of the above and feel an uncontrollable urge to email me with your own set of "You might be an engineering redneck if ... "


Best regards and thanks for being a subscriber to this newsletter,

Don Fitchett
Managing Editor
Feed Forward Publications
http://www.feedforward.com.au
Tel : (573) 547-5630

www.feedforward.com.au teaches your maintenance crew engineering and asset care knowledge so that they can solve more problems, become more knowledgeable, make better decisions and your plant runs more reliably!

Please select "subscribe to newsletter" on our contact form.

March 2004:

Welcome: 

Please select "subscribe to newsletter" on our contact form.

RE: PLC Training

Welcome to the March issue of our Feed Forward Newsletter! My name is Don Fitchett, the author of "The Maintenance War Newsletter". This first area of the newsletter is for introductions and commentary. We have added so much to the website, it all can not be covered in the newsletter. So please browse around and find your gold nugget. 

If a friend has given you this copy of the newsletter, you can find an online version on our website www.feedforward.com.au Every month we add new book titles for you to download, free articles and other resources.

In the Management section and in the Tech Tips section you will see advice about PLCs. (Programmable Logic Controllers). There is no doubt, some will want to ask..."Why?". I encourage you to please send me an email and ask why. I will answer every one and some may make it into next months newsletter.

Well, Mike Sondalini comes through for us again with another new eBook release. 

Helical Rotor Pump - Progressive Cavity Pump Guide by Mike Sondalini

If your facility production involves pumping or dosing food, beer or chemicals, you probably need the knowledge Mike shares with us in his new book. Not only are these type of pumps used as chemical pumps or food pumps, but for slurry and applications that need suction too. So even the farmers out there could put Mike's tips and tricks to use on their dam pumps. ( No play on words intended. :>)

We have had many requests over the years for a PLC Training CD that individuals could use for self education as well as companies, corporations, and learning institutions. I am happy to announce we now have the best PLC Training CD set available for you. (The 'PLCTrainer' is a CBT, which saves students scores and prints certificate upon completion. Printable PLC manual/work book on CD too.)

Of course with me being a PLC trainer, I spent months until I found a product that would exceed my own standards. Then I had to negotiate a great deal for our customers. I strongly recommend you visit our page titled PLC Training and Simulation - 2 CD Set. The PLC training set we put together is priced (limited time offer) for the individual and great for those who want operational knowledge as well as programming experience.

 


Want more detailed PLC and SCADA training? Please see ...

On-Line SCADA and PLC Course recognized by Engineers Australia for CPD purposes!

Also please see "PLC Programming Training 10 Video Set", "PLC Trainer (equipment)" and the "PLC Training CBT".


I have noticed interest in safety related topics. I have also noticed book sales have dropped off a bit. This concerns me, so we will maintain the reduced price of our titles...  The CMMS Insider's Guide ebook, Process Hazards Analysis and Process Safety Audit Protocols ebook

 Hopefully this will spark an interest in safety for a few visitors.


Management Help:

Don't let your automation bring your facility to it's knees!

If you have read any of my material over the years, you have no doubt ran into my example of how a plant air compressor is often overlooked as a bottle neck. (Actually they should have higher priority than bottlenecks do.) 

Another piece of equipment that should have higher importance than bottlenecks when it comes to maintenance and costs is the PLC. (Programmable Logic Controller) If not properly managed, they can stop production of an entire line or facility.

In our 'Maintenance Tech Tip' area there are several tips and advice for managing the ever growing population of PLC technology in your facility. The two most important pieces of advice, I would like to reiterate here.

First, be aware of how many, what brand and support you have for the PLCs in your facility. If you want an example of what kind of facility assessment you should be doing, I have an excel spread sheet you can use as an example. Just use our contact form and request it, I'll be happy to send you a copy.

Secondly, be sure your maintenance and engineering departments have the tools they need to work with the PLCs in your facility and reduce downtime. The tools needed are training,  a laptop with PLC software to access the PLCs, and discriptored copies of every PLC program running in your facility.

If the above measures are not taken, someday production will be down, waiting on a service tech to schedule a visit to your facility. But worse is the countless hours of un-necessary downtime you have already experienced and may not have realized.  The PLC is being utilized as a valuable troubleshooting tool more and more as technology increases.


Human Resource:

Human Resource Effectiveness

 The most evident indicator of human resource effectiveness is not seeing individuals with idle time, waiting on work. There is another aspect of utilizing your human resources effectively that is much more difficult to analyze and improve. That is your work force efficiency. 

The efficiency at which each individual in your company does their respective job can be greatly improved by two basic metrics. Steps to complete a task and timing. You can brainstorm and come up with the minimum steps to complete a task but still be held up by timing, waiting for an external task to be completed before moving on to the next step in the original task.

While it was out of the scope of Bob Giese's article - OEE Reports - Automated Capturing & Recording of Availability Data, I feel the VersaCall automated system deserves mention of how it also improves human resource effectiveness. Their system pages, emails, or communicates in some other form anytime a task is not completed in time to keep production running.

The VersaCall system is a way of virtually automating the human aspects of running your facility, thus reducing or eliminating any timing issues that would cause idle, non-effective time. An example would be a machine becoming low on raw material. The VersaCall system would page the forklift operator. If for some reason the forklift operator could not deliver in time (some preset alarm level set), a supervisor may receive a text message on their cell phone.

With scenarios like the one above, all automated, you not only result in a smoother running facility, but get OEE reports that help you identify where and how to improve your operating effectiveness. 


A Good Laugh!

You might be an engineering redneck if ...

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you have more than two electronic devices that you carry on your person.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you have a key to the company to come into work when no one else is there.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you have used coat hangers and duct tape for something other than hanging coats and taping ducts

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you use a PLC to control your Christmas lights.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you have power cord (pig tails) in your desk.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you can say PCMCIA quickly three time in row with out giving it a second thought.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you have a pocket screw driver in your shirt pocket right now.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you have more friends on the Internet than in real life.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... your watch plugs into your computer.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... if you use CAD for non work-related projects.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... If you know the direction the water swirls when you flush.

You might be an engineering redneck if ... you read all of the above and feel an uncontrollable urge to email me with your own set of "You might be an engineering redneck if ... "


Best regards and thanks for being a subscriber to this newsletter,

Don Fitchett
Managing Editor
Feed Forward Publications
http://www.feedforward.com.au
Tel : (573) 547-5630

www.feedforward.com.au teaches your maintenance crew engineering and asset care knowledge so that they can solve more problems, become more knowledgeable, make better decisions and your plant runs more reliably!

Please select "subscribe to newsletter" on our contact form.

Maintenance tech tip

Managing your facility's

PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers.)

1) Before forcing a 'real world' input or output (I/O), be sure you have a complete understanding of every way the  I/O will affect the program and machine operation.

2) Always zip your PLC ladder logic programs up before placing them on a floppy disk or emailing them.

3) Copies of all PLC programs with descriptors should be obtained from all OEMs and stored on site.

4) The descriptored programs should be used to update copies of programs currently running in the machines every 6 months. (You may want to add a couple machines per month to the existing PM program.)

5) Insure your maintenance staff has a laptop with the PLC software loaded on it as well as training on how to use it.

6) When personnel are going online with PLCs in the facility, it is recommended they use an external mouse with the lap top. This will further insure unintentional clicks do not occur with laptop's built in mouse while online with PLCs.

7) I also recommend a spreadsheet be made for management of facility PLC programs (Ask me to send you an example copy).

8) You also might consider installing an EEPROM (back up memory chip) on those PLCs which do not already have one.

9) I would encourage maintenance and engineering to use PLC for new equipment design instead of relay panels. This will save on design cost, implementation, troubleshooting and future modifications of equipment as well as increase reliability.

10) Most customized onsite training for your employees qualifies for your state's reimbursement programs. If so, paying pennies on the dollar for your maintenance staff's PLC training can offer an even greater return on your training investment.

Regards,

Don F.

Please see our PLC Training Services

 

Reader Feedback
Subject: kind words

Thanks for this platform for maintenance engineers to share ideas. I really aspire to be like the featured author.

Edward G.


Featured Articles :

OEE Reports - Automated Capturing & Recording of Availability Data - by Bob Giese


The World Wide Web:

Other Online PLC resources:

Articles:

When Controls Converge: CNC,PLC & PC

Documenting PLC Software

Programmable controllers: Revolution or evolution?

Recommends ...

Although myself and our companies are in no way affiliated with Allen Bradley, their PLCs would be my first recommendation. They may be a bit pricey, but well worth the quality and functionality they provide. When your equipment has Allen Bradley controllers, your facility is built on a rock of reliability.

PLCDirect by Koyo offers programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for factory automation in four product families, PC-based control software, along with operator interfaces, programming software, factory network devices, manuals and accessories. This company made the TI 405,305, GE Series 1, Semantic, Siemens, and licensed those companies to put their name on it. Buy direct, and save!

OEMs:

Note: we are not recommending the following vendors, only providing a link as a resource  if you already have their equipment in your facility.

Fuji PLCs - Eaton Cutler-Hammer PLC - Modicon - Omron - Siemens

 


 

World Industry News:


ARCwire for the Week Ending March 12,2004, reaching over 60,000 professionals worldwide.


Archives ...

Up
Vol-14, Lubrication Engineer
Vol 13 - Power Management
Vol-12, Change Management
Vol 10 -Electrical Troubleshooting
Vol-9, PLC Training
Vol-8, Six Sigma
Vol-7, Safety and Reliability
Vol-6 Reliability
Vol-5 Criticality
Vol-4, Human Resources
Vol-3, PLC Programs
Vol-2, managing people
Vol- 1, maintenance advice

Click Newsletter to return to current news letter.

 

Viewers understands that any content or other information offered on or through FeedForward.com.au is provided for informational purposes only. Viewers should evaluate any content or other information offered on or through FeedForward.com.au in light of viewer's own individual circumstances. © 2016 Feed Forward - A subsidiary of Business Industrial Network